The Federal Government banned Ashir Azeem’s comeback film “Maalik” all across Pakistan in a statement issued Wednesday. The Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, and National Heritage issued a notification declaring the Urdu feature film “uncertified” according to Section 9 of the Motion Pictures Ordinance, 1979.
Director Ashir Azeem also tweeted the ban.
— Asher Azeem Gill (@ashirazeemgill) April 27, 2016
Maalik was released three weeks back and showcased a cast comprising of some of the most prominent and celebrated faces in the industry such as Ashir Azeem himself, Sajid Hassan, Farhan Ally Agha, Hassan Niazi, Rashid Farooqi, Adnan Shah, Tatmain ul Qulb , Ehteshamuddin, Erum Azam, Pakiza Khan, Lubna Aslam and Marium Ansari.
The film is about a retired SSG officer and his anti-corruption battle against those in power. ‘Maalik’ sent a strong patriotic message that every single Pakistani has a responsibility and that he himself is the master of his fate!
Azeem revealed to the media, “Our aim is to give a message to all our viewers to take ownership of their country and their loved ones and I hope that the audience will appreciate our efforts.”
However, the film generated complaints regarding its controversial portrayal of the Taliban and parallels with the assassination of a prominent government official by his personal security guard.
The “Maalik” team had assured the Sindh government that the controversial scenes would be cut, but the film’s certification was revoked as it wasn’t done.
Following the ban imposed on the film, local cinemas have cancelled all shows and are refunding the tickets.